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Figure Skating

Figure Skating

The glitz and glamour of Figure Skating will be a true spectacle at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, with the green and gold skaters ready to take the ice.

The world’s best 148 figure skaters will all vie for the chance to call themselves Olympic Champions across five events; men’s and women’s individual, pairs, ice dance and for only the second time in Olympic history - the teams event.

Skaters will take to the ice at Gangneung Ice Arena, part of the Gangneung Olympic Park in front of crowds of 12,000 enthusiastic spectators.

Australians to Watch: After making his debut at the Sochi Games as a 19-year-old, Brendan Kerry will again be looking to grace the ice in PyeongChang in the men’s individual event. Kerry followed in his mother Monica’s footsteps who competed in Ice Dancing at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

In the women’s event, Brooklee Han will be wanting to make her second Olympic appearance, while triple Australian Champion, 19-year-old Kailani Craine will look to make her Olympic debut at the 2018 Games.

The newly crowned Junior World Champions, pairs skaters Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrivskaya are seeking their first appearance on the Olympic stage, by which time they will be 21 and 18-years of age respectively. 

Qualification, Nomination & Selection

Australia has qualified one man in Figure Skating at PyeongChang 2018 and is looking to qualify one pair, one lady and one team (which would include a dance couple).

Qualification was firstly a country based qualification from the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.

The remaining qualification places (six (6) places each in Men Single Skating and Ladies Single Skating, four (4) places in Pair Skating and five (5) places in Ice Dance) will be filled by the NOCs at a Senior International Qualification Competition – the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany in late September, 2017.  

Australia will also have the opportunity to qualify a Team, which is based on a competition consisting of up to ten (10) best national teams from NOCs/ISU Members.

All figure skating qualifications will be finalised by 21 December 2017. For the full details on qualification click here>>>

If an athlete has qualified then they will be eligible to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection. For the full details on nomination to the Australian Olympic Winter Team click here>>>

Competition Format & Events

There are five Olympic figure skating events: ladies’ singles, men’s singles, pairs, ice dancing and the team event.

The men’s, ladies’ and pairs competitions consist of two separate parts: the short program and the free skating. The short program combines seven prescribed elements such as jump combinations and spins. In the free skating program, skaters perform an original arrangement of techniques to music of their choice. The top 24 of the 30 competitors in the singles events and 16 of 20 couples in the pairs event qualify for the free skate.

In the pairs the couple work as one unit, demonstrating overhead lifts, throw-jumps with the man launching his partner, death spirals and side-by-side and combination spins.

Ice dancing is similar to ballroom dancing and composed of two parts, the Short Dance and the Free Dance. The focus is on the complex steps in rhythm and time to the music. The skaters maintain contact with each other, including lifts and spins. The Short Dance includes a prescribed set pattern  to their own choice of music plus three required elements - twizzles, a lift and step sequence.  In Free Dance the pair freely express their interpretation of the music they have chosen, which must include nine required elements. 24 ice dance teams compete in the Short Dance, with only 20 going through to the final. 

The figure skating team event will feature teams made up of six skaters: one male skater, one female skater, one skating pair and one ice dance couple. Points are awarded to each skater/ couple. The team with the highest number of aggregate points is declared the winner. The figure skating team event made its first appearance at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck and made its Olympic debut at Sochi in 2014.

Judging

Following a judging controversy in Salt Lake 2002, the ISU adopted a new system in 2004 to award points for each element of a skater’s program. Each element is judged first by a technical specialist team before a panel of nine judges award a score for the execution of that element plus five separate scores for the artistic performance (program components) as a whole.

A total score is based on the addition of points of two segments.

1. The technical score (or Total Element Score) is comprised of points gained on jumps, spins and footwork. Each element of the performance is assigned a base value relating to its degree of difficulty, with judges evaluating the performance on each element within a range of plus 3 to minus 3.

2. The Program Component Score comprised of points gained on five components - skating skills, transitions/linking footwork, performance and execution, composition and choreography,  and interpretation and timing. The program component scores range from 0.25 to 10.0 and range from very poor to outstanding. It evaluates overall skating quality, difficulty and quality of steps linking the elements, style and originality.

Australia and Olympic Figure Skating

Australians first competed in figure skating at Oslo 1952. Adrian Swan competed in the men’s individual and placed 10th. Nancy Hallam and Gweneth Molony both competed in the ladies individual placing 14th and 21st respectively. Cameron Medhurst represented Australia at three consecutive Winter Olympics, at Sarajevo 1984, Calgary 1988 and Albertville 1992, where he achieved his best of result of 16th in Albertville.

The brother/sister national pairs figure skating champions Stephen Carr and Danielle McGrath (Carr) also represented Australia at three consecutive Winter Olympics. At Albertville 1992, they placed 13th and then equalled the best performance by an Australian pair with 11th at Lillehammer 1994. In Nagano 1998 they placed 13th.

Another three-time figure skating Winter Olympian is Cameron Medhurst (Sarajevo 1984, Calgary 1988 and Albertville 1992), palcing 19th, 19th and 16th respectively. He is the only figure skater to be a flagbearer (Closing Ceremony Albertville 1992.)

Australia’s best Olympic results were achieved by Adrian Swan (Oslo 1952) and Anthony Liu (Salt Lake 2002) who both placed 10th in the men’s individual; Joanne Carter who placed 12th in the ladies individual at Nagano 1998; the pairs Stephen and Danielle Carr, who placed 11th at Lillehammer 1994, and Monica MacDonald and Rodney Clarke who placed 20th at Nagano 1998 in ice dancing.

 Cheltzie Lee was Australia’s only figure skating representative at Vancouver 2010 and won the hearts of the nation, finishing 18th in the short program and 20th in the free program (20th overall), posting personal best scores and delivering beyond her 16 years.

 

Pre-PyeongChang AUS Tally

- Gold
- Silver
- Bronze

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